Laugavegur Trail: Hvanngil to Thorsmork

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Laugavegur trail, Hvanngil to Thorsmork

We went to bed in Hvanngil as it steadily rained. When Josh and I woke up, it was more of the same drizzle, dreary and grey. I was a little glad we didn’t have to spend the night in a tent. Today, we were hiking to Thorsmork to finish the Laugavegur.

Laugavegur Trail, Hvanngil to Thorsmork, Volcano Huts

The warden of the Hvanngil hut was less strict with the kitchen being closed until 7am. By 7am we were finishing breakfast and lacing up our boots. Into the rain we went. Our destination was Thorsmork, about 25km away.

Less than 1 km out the gate, we hit our first shoes-off river crossing. The frigid water, with the cold rain, was only slightly miserable.

Laugavegur Trail, Hvanngil to Thorsmork, Volcano Huts

It rained on and off. Enough to keep a shell on. Enough to get my pants wet, then dry, then wet again. It was a long, flat hike to Emstrur, our first first stop, 10km away.

Everything was very green. It was beautiful, but it was flat and monotonous. We’d seen this between Alftavatn and Hvanngil. Compared to the hike coming out of Landmannalaugar, it was almost underwhelming. Already, we were spoiled in Iceland.

Laugavegur Trail, Hvanngil to Thorsmork, Volcano Huts

It wasn’t until Emstrur that the endless fields of green ended and the landscape changed and the skies cleared up. Past Emstrur, we crossed a river of glacial silt, and continued on to Thorsmork.

The trail rolled up and down. We saw glaciers from afar. We crossed another river. It wasn’t anything to write home about. After our last river crossing, I was a little beat up. My shoes were biting into my Achilles. I was ready to take them off.

Laugavegur Trail, Hvanngil to Thorsmork, Volcano Huts

We still had about 3-5km to go to get to the Volcano Huts. The trail seemed to never end, but we pushed on as the trail wound through a forest. Soon, we heard more people. Then small children appeared. We were close to the end of the Laugavegur.

The trail split to Laugidalur where we’d head tomorrow to hike the Fimmvorduhals. We followed signs to the Volcano Huts. I thought they would never appear. We got into the Volcano Huts around 4 pm. We’d started hiking around 7am.

Laugavegur Trail, Hvanngil to Thorsmork, Volcano Huts

The Volcano Huts were a little underwhelming. I’d booked them at the beginning of our trip because they were available. Thorsmork was supposed to be jaw droopingly gorgeous. I’d imagined the huts sitting in some cirque with breathtaking views. Maybe I should have googled harder.

Laugavegur Trail, Hvanngil to Thorsmork, Volcano Huts

Staying at the Volcano Huts in Thorsmork

  • The Volcano Huts are bookable online, without having to email someone.
  • We stayed in the Mountain Hut Dormitory, with 2 rooms, each sleeping 8 people. The dormitory has a living room, kitchenette and bathroom. It costs 8.000 ISK per person.
  • Wifi is available in the restaurant and lobby.
  • If you have a mifi, there is cell service available.
  • Weary? Volcano Huts has a hot pool and sauna called the LavaSPA. We missed this.

Gear

Hers: Arc’teryx Kea 45 Pack (similar here), Arc’teryx Beta SL Hybrid Jacket, Arc’teryx Atom LT Jacket, Arc’teryx Atom SL Jacket, Icebreaker Tech T Lite, Norrøna bitihorn lightweight zip off pants, Salewa Multi Track GTX trail runnersOutdoor Research Petra sweatpants, Western Mountaineering Summerlite bag, Snowpeak spork

His: Osprey pack, Fjallraven Keb Eco Shell Jacket, Outdoor Research Ascendant Hoodie, Avalanche Outdoor Supply shirt, Mountain Hardwear AC Henley shirt, Prana Stretch Zion pants, Therm-a-Rest Questar sleeping bag

Yesterday, we hiked from Landmannalaugar to Hvanngil on the Laugavegur.

2 comments

  1. Thanks for the detailed information!

    My wife and I are looking to do this same itinerary due to huts being booked to do it over 3 nights. Did you find the days to be excessively long or was it fairly manageable? Also, is there potential for the rivers to be deeper at different times of the day and how high did they reach when you were crossing (knee, thigh, waist)?

    Many Thanks

    1. Did I find the days to be excessively long or was it manageable? This is hard to say, as your mileage may vary greatly from mine. When I did this, I hiked and climbed extensively off trail in the Sierra the whole summer, so most of the trail felt easy to me, and we’d arrive at the huts pretty early in the afternoon. We don’t take many breaks, and we are good at suffering. The hardest day for me was probably from Thorsmork to Skógar, but that’s also the longest and toughest day in terms of mileage and elevation gain.

      River crossings I crossed in the afternoon on most days. It was maybe knee deep for most of them, or low thigh at the worst. I’m 5′ tall.

      Hope that helps!

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